Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 6, pp 1237–1250 | Cite as

Assessing reef fish assemblage structure: how do different stereo-video techniques compare?

  • Dianne L. Watson
  • Euan S. Harvey
  • Ben M. Fitzpatrick
  • Timothy J. Langlois
  • George Shedrawi
Original Paper

Abstract

Measures of fish abundance, assemblage composition and length were compared when sampled by baited remote underwater stereo-video (stereo BRUV) and diver-operated stereo-video transects (stereo DOV) at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands and Ningaloo Reef. Species richness counts were 40% higher on stereo BRUV than stereo DOV. Stereo BRUVs also recorded a greater number of large-bodied targeted species in higher abundance than stereo DOV (e.g. Lethrinus nebulosus, Plectropomus leopardus) at the Houtman Abrolhos and at Ningaloo Reef. Many non-targeted species were also recorded in greater abundances on stereo BRUV than stereo DOV (e.g. Coris auricularis, Gymnothorax spp). Stereo DOV transects recorded a greater abundance of some small-bodied Pomacentridae, Labridae and Scaridae species than did stereo BRUV, particularly at Ningaloo Reef. This study demonstrates that choice of sampling technique for surveys of reef fish can lead to very different biological interpretations of fish assemblage structure.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dianne L. Watson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Euan S. Harvey
    • 2
  • Ben M. Fitzpatrick
    • 2
  • Timothy J. Langlois
    • 2
  • George Shedrawi
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Marine FuturesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Plant BiologyThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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